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AI Transportation Upgrades

Tesla Model S Software Updates Lets Car Park Itself With No One Inside It (bgr.com) 145

An anonymous reader writes with a link to this article at Boy Genius Report about a software upgrade now hitting Tesla owners, which begins: Tesla earlier today began pushing out version 7.1 of its software to Model S and Model X owners and, suffice it to say, it's a doozy of a software update. While we'll get to the full changelog shortly, we first wanted to highlight a feature called Summon which enables users to park their cars without having to be inside it. Conversely, it also lets Tesla owners summon their cars that already happen to be parked.
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Tesla Model S Software Updates Lets Car Park Itself With No One Inside It

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  • Beta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @06:19PM (#51269951) Homepage Journal
    The feature is in Beta. Thats what I want: Beta software in my car. Here is a link to the release notes: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com... [teslamotorsclub.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ahahaha hater from the past, whats it feel like being the next taliban. The future too future for you? Join an amish cult and leave slashdot alone ffs.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      You know what they say: fail fast and move on. Facebook knew it, Toyota knew it, Tesla knows it, and now you know it.

    • Beta driving software might still be better than the average human driver.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Then you should buy a 1968 car if you dont want a beta car.

      ALL cars you buy today are running on beta firmware in the ECM, BCM and infotainment systems. If you think everything has been heavily and completely tested then you dont even have the first clue as to how the software world works today.

      Software, outside of the military and space program is about how fast can you get it out the door, not about making a complete and safe product. Testing is what the customers do after it's sold to them.

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @06:21PM (#51269957)

    It's not a "doozy" of an upgrade.

    Duesy is short for Duesenberg, a car so awesome it could only be a Duesy.

    Ehud

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      The term in common use is >a href="http://www.neatorama.com/2013/07/29/Why-Do-We-Say-Its-A-Doozy/">doozy"
    • Ironic that this has been modded Funny, when the poster was completely serious ("A car joke! Funny!"). However, more to the point, the assertion that "doozy" came from "Duesy" has been debunked [wikipedia.org].
  • It has begun! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @06:22PM (#51269959) Homepage Journal

    I wonder who'll get in trouble when the car has an accident while auto-parking?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      While it's in "beta," I'm guessing the owner of the car, for using not fully tested software. In the final release, definitely the manufacturer.
      captcha: taxi cabs

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        I guess it will ALWAYS be in Beta then.... kind of like a Google product. The potential cost of declaring it out of Beta would not justify the additional prestige value, And besides, when their target customer realizes the coolness of the feature, they won't mind to buy it, just because it's beta.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      The driver ofcourse.
      That is to say, the person who instructs the car to start the automatic parking, regardless of whether that person is or is not inside the car.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now hackers can just hack your car and make it steal itself without having to risk going to the location.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The programmer in me says that you can't design infrastructure and situations for people's level of ability to deal with the unexpected, and then rely on strictly less able primitive AI in the same situations on the same infrastructure.

    I always visualise a busy car park with two self-driving cars both stopped with noses together, trying to get into the same parking space and unable to safely proceed, and traffic backed up out onto the main road trying to get in.
    Would that be the exact case that trips them u

    • by adolf ( 21054 )

      I always visualise a busy car park with two self-driving cars both stopped with noses together, trying to get into the same parking space and unable to safely proceed, and traffic backed up out onto the main road trying to get in.

      This could happen [youtu.be].

      • by Jack9 ( 11421 )

        Except that in the US it's exceedingly rare to have bidirectional 1 lane thoroughfares with adjacent parking spots and automation will signal the immediate need to clean up these niche cases.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Except that in the US it's exceedingly rare to have bidirectional 1 lane thoroughfares

          The rarity of these types of roadways makes it even more likely that the devices do not properly handle them.

          signal the immediate need to clean up these niche cases.

          Or involvement of traffic authorities and citation of drivers, if their equipment hinders the roadway.

          • by Jack9 ( 11421 )

            > The rarity of these types of roadways makes it even more likely that the devices do not properly handle them.

            The case described does not have a proper procedure. This is a traffic design failing, not a civil liability.

            • by mysidia ( 191772 )

              The case described does not have a proper procedure. This is a traffic design failing, not a civil liability.

              The roadways are designed for human use, and vehicles which are operated by humans at all time: the public roads are not provided for just any possible use that people are able to imagine. Human-operated vehicles handle these situations just fine, therefore, if the machine does not, and the manufacturer encourages its operation unattended, then the machine (or its human operator who made it o

      • Or it could park like a BMW driver. [imgur.com]
    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      I'm sure Tesla has no programmers who've thought about the things you came up with "as a programmer" in 5 seconds.

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      The traditional rule of the road (and sea) is that the largest vehicle has priority:
      40 ton truck > doubledecker bus > singledecker bus > stretch limo > black cab taxi > flatbed truck > 4x4 offroader > estate car > compact car > mini smartcar > motorcyclist > cyclist.

      In a single lane road, the smaller vehicle has to reverse back if someone is coming the other way. Does lead to some interesting situations where two vehicles are exactly the same size.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      More likely is the drooling idiot that parks his giant bro-dozer truck in the "compact car only" spot consuming 2 and 1/2 spots.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if the upgrade passes the Baby Test: Lay down a 24 month old baby in the center of the parking spot, and summon the Tesla into to park itself. Expected outcome: There should be no leaking blood.

    • expected outcome: 2-year-old is 150 meters away when the Tesla shows up.
    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      I wonder if the upgrade passes the Baby Test: Lay down a 24 month old baby in the center of the parking spot, and summon the Tesla into to park itself. Expected outcome: There should be no leaking blood.

      I tried it out -- results are mixed. The car passes the test when the air suspension is set to the "high" and "standard" settings, but not when it is set to the "low" or "very low" settings.

      On a related note, can anyone recommend a good pressure washer?

  • I saw the Batmobile do that years ago (in a movie, but I'm sure it was real).
  • I'm just waiting for the malware to hit these smart cars.

    Just a few possibly lucrative scams that could manifest in due time:

    Ransomware. "Pay us OMGWTFBBQ! dollars, or never drive your expensive status symbol ever again! We've encrypted the entire drive control computer's filesystem, so pay up."

    Spyware: "Know where your spouse is REALLY going during the day! Our special software runs silently on smart cars to let you know exactly where and how long it has been running! Easy integration with our smartphone a

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      I think the actual exploit will be more like:

      "Hello Mr. Passenger -- we've taken the liberty of re-routing your car... you're now on your way to Tierra del Fuego, ETA next Tuesday. If you'd like to be re-routed back towards your original destination, please send bitcoins to the address via your cell phone. We'll wait..."

  • The linked article contains a misleading statement which is given as a quote: Autosteer is now “restricted to residential roads and roads without a center divider.” which implies that it can only be used on these type roads. Actually, the upgrade restricts driving on residential roads and roads without a center divider by limiting the maximum autopilot speed to 5 mph above the posted speed limit. So, quite a different spin. (Source Ver 7.1 release notes)
  • And who pays when it doesn't work exactly right and it crunches the car next to it? Who pays when it doesn't work exactly right and scrapes a wall? Will Tesla pay for this kind of accident?

    If this system fails only one out of a 1000 times, that still means it's going to hit something sooner or later. Of course, I may hit something when I park, but then it's my fault for not taking more care.

    I park my car 4 or 5 times a day on average, and a failure rate of 1-in-1000 means that by the end of the year the au

    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      And who pays when it doesn't work exactly right and it crunches the car next to it? Who pays when it doesn't work exactly right and scrapes a wall? Will Tesla pay for this kind of accident?

      If the human car owner is at fault, he/she should pay. If the car AI is at fault, the car maker should pay. I guess the insurance companies will receive two premiums per car -- one from the car owner and another from the car maker.

      • Wait until the insurance companies force you to pay double premiums because you insist on still driving the car yourself.

        • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

          As a bicyclist commuter, I'm looking forward to that day. If it could come yesterday that would be great.

          A guy blew through a red light and killed my buddy Bryan from high school who was riding his motorcycle through his green light on Friday and killed him. Although it's possible there could be a software glitch that would cause the computer to do the same thing, it's not likely.

          Five months ago a drunk driver ran a red light and ran over my friend Deb who was crossing at the crosswalk along

        • by flux ( 5274 )

          You may find that the opposite happens..

          • Given the statistics so far. I highly doubt that's going to be the case. If they have deductibles broken down by gender, marriage status and age they're definitely going to split them along human / non-human lines.

    • "And who pays when it doesn't work exactly right and it crunches the car next to it?"

      Who pays when any machinery you own wreaks havoc? Who pays if your car suddenly loses its parking brakes on a slope and crashes into something? Who pays if a plane crashes when on autopilot? Why do you expect a Tesla car to be any different?

      Of course, you can always sue back the machinery builder -any machinery, if you think you have a case.

      • Who pays when any machinery you own wreaks havoc? Who pays if your car suddenly loses its parking brakes on a slope and crashes into something?

        Sometimes you pay, sometimes the manufacturer pays. It depends on the circumstances.

        For example, Takata has to pay for refitting 34 million vehicles with defective air bags. In the parking brake example you cite, if the parking brake was found to be defective the owner wouldn't normally be found to be liable.

        And so it may or may not be with Tesla- if they produce software that causes the operation of a car to malfunction, they may be deemed to be at fault. Or maybe the insurance company will make you pay in

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      did you push the button to make it park? Then you are 100% liable.

      It's really simple, but wont stop a scumbag from trying to lawyer his way out of it.

      • did you push the button to make it park? Then you are 100% liable.

        I don't think it's that simple. If the parking software has a defect that causes the car to strike something or veer out into traffic or accelerate in reverse at 100mph, I don't think it's a matter of "Well, you pressed the button".

        Are people going to be held responsible for when they pressed the button, or what the circumstances were when they pressed it? How will responsibility be apportioned when a person hands off control of something like a car to a software agent that interacts with potentially harmfu

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @07:37PM (#51270245)

    The video shows the car moving up to 39 feet in a straight line to get out of a tight garage. That's not really "parking". A "real" autopark would be if I could get out of the car at the door to my office, then send the car to go park itself in the lot.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Patience, grasshopper.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Auto-steering seems to be out of beta, which is a bit worrying when they are still issuing updates like "doesn't crash into highway exits" and "doesn't stop working if lane markings are faded.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      Millions of women would be happy if they could get out in front of a parking space and let the car handle the rest. With this feature alone, Tesla guaranteed that the wives of every rich man on the planet will ask for a Tesla as their next car.

    • Exactly. If it can "go park" and "come back" from a parking garage, or parallel park on a street, then I will be impressed. Backing out of a garage and onto a driveway is nothing.
  • In Seattle .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @08:57PM (#51270535)

    ... we could just get out of our cars and have them drive endlessly around the block looking for a parking space.

  • by Art Challenor ( 2621733 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @10:05PM (#51270781)

    summon their cars that already happen to be parked.

    Who get's the $10 tip?

  • I am curious why just simple remote auto start/stop of your engine is not a standard option by now, it is something I had to add to me car via a 3rd party security system. It is mostly nice when heating up your car in the morning and turning on defrost.

    • Some of us own garages and don't want our cars to be able to be started by a remote actor.

      Always remember: if you can do something remotely, someone else can too.

  • Who is responsible for if it damages a car or runs over a toddler?

    The driver? Nobody will use it after the first news report of an accident.

    The car manufacturer? Nobody will be able to afford one once the insurance liability kicks into the retail price.

  • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Sunday January 10, 2016 @04:24PM (#51273887)

    A machine easily capable of killing me (and others) by a mere unintended 5 change of direction while driving on a highway is certainly the least machine that I want to receive over-the-air updates at any time.

    Maybe Tesla is a little less profit-above-everything inclined than other companies at this time, but there's no reason to think it will stay like this. Just look how OTA-firmware upgrades have worked against owners of LG-TVs, PS3s and so on... one day, a pointy haired boss will decide to change Tesla car firmware to boost his profits, not your well-being.

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